Let me preface this post by stating that I'm not personally from The Queen City or the great state of Ohio. When I've visited both, the atmosphere is fun and the people are generally affable. However, talk some hometown sports with Cincinnatians and it's a different story.
The general attitude seems to be a blend of "woe is me" and "we got screwed", with a dash of always expecting an epic letdown of some sort. In fairness, there is a track record of sports heartbreak in Cincinnati and the residents aren't bashful about giving a history lesson. Still, there are quite a few shining moments as well.
One of which could be the nice little run that the Bengals have been on the past three seasons. Though all three years ended earlier than most have wanted and/or expected, these boys in stripes have put together one of the most consistently successful runs in franchise history. It just isn't enough for many fans.
As with any contingent, there are extremists. That was on display at the first day of 2014 Bengals Training Camp on Thursday. What has been an on-and-off tradition of sorts, a public display of displeasure with the team's direction was shown for the world to see. This time it was directed at the team's embattled quarterback, who is also in the midst of contract negotiations on a long-term deal.
A rude camp welcome for Andy Dalton. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/xIRkTjCXDw— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) July 24, 2014
Always classy and right on cue, two banners show up on bridge. First: "Don’t sign Dalton he sucks" #Bengals pic.twitter.com/CKIgNwXDMe— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 24, 2014
Second sign says "A.J. To A.J. The future is now". Wow, people. Just wow. #clueless— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 24, 2014
The signs have since been taken down by Bengals employees, but the effect remains. We hesitated even writing about this on Cincy Jungle because, like giving attention to a screaming child, it encourages this type of negative behavior. But, with other local media members talking about it, we feel that we had to jump into the fray as well.
This person/people is likely of the same ilk that reportedly threw garbage on Carson Palmer's private residence in late 2010, which fueled his desire to leave town. What's the saying? "There's one is every group", right? Unfortunately for the majority of the rational Bengals fans, the types that create these publicity stunts give everyone else a bad name.
Instead of throwing my personal insults at the responsible parties, I'll eave it to somebody else to put it in a way that all Bengals fans can get behind.